Freedom: A History of US.
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Webisode 14: Let Freedom Ring
Introduction Segment 1 Segment 2 Segment 3 Segment 4 Segment 5 Segment 6 Segment 7

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Malcolm X
Segment 7
MLK at the March on Washington I Have A Dream

Even among civil rights leaders there are rivalries and jealousies. They disagree among themselves. Some black leaders, such as Malcolm X See It Now - Malcolm X , are impatient with the older organizations, which try to work peacefully through the courts and churches. And some groups want to fight with fists, weapons, and anger. But not Martin Luther King. He vows, "We are not going to stop until the walls of segregation are crushed. We've gone too far to turn back now."

For years the venerable civil rights activist A. Philip Randolph See It Now - A. Philip Randolph has talked of a freedom rally in the nation's capital. Perhaps it would bring the diverse black leaders together. Perhaps it would bring black and white people together. Perhaps it would influence Congress. President Kennedy has sent a civil rights bill to Congress. Will it be passed? A march would show Congress and the President the importance of the movement. Exactly one hundred years has passed since Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Some white people are still telling blacks to wait and be patient. Martin Luther King speaks for them all: "We can't wait any longer. Now is the time."

Philip Randolph is seventy-four. If ever he is to have his march, it has to be soon. And so it is decided: on August 28, 1963, there will be a march for freedom in Washington. The marchers are going to demand passage of the civil rights bill; integration of schools by year's end; an end to job discrimination; and a job training program. Two thousand buses head for the capital, and twenty-one chartered trains See It Now - March on Washington. One man roller-skates from Chicago. An eighty-two year old man bicycles from Ohio. TV crews guess there are 250,000 people altogether, both black and white—the event is entirely integrated. It is a day filled with song, and hope, and goodwill.

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Bayard Rustin, a civil rights organizer and colleague of A. Philip Randolph, was in charge of getting the Mall in Washington ready for all the marchers. He had twenty-one drinking fountains, twenty-four first-aid stations, and many portable toilets set up on the Mall. And he had workers make 80,000 cheese sandwiches.

Did you know that Freedom is adapted from the award-winning Oxford University Press multi-volume book series, A History of US by Joy Hakim?

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